Friday, 24 May 2013

Bleuet

I've been working on one dress, Bleuet, all this week full of Me-Made- May 13 fervour and hugely inspired by this Bleuet by Anna.  I ended up finishing it mid week.   I am so pleased with the result.
I have never made or even bought a shirt dress that suited me or fitted properly.  I have fitted this dress with its princess line panels so that it fits perfectly with room to move and whilst retaining its shape.   The fabric is organic cross weave from Saints and Pinners and it is perfect for it.  Thicker than poplin or shirt weight, lighter handle than denim and a wonderful blue.
I did an HNC in fashion years back and a big influence at the time was Hussein Chalayan and his 'Before Minus Now'  dress collection.  The dresses were beautifully shaped- I've seen a couple in the V and A, they worked 360 degrees all around the body.  
The Bleuet reminds me of them.  It moves outwards and over my backside and belly in such a flattering way.  It is incredibly comfortable and easy to wear.
The bow detail at the back is so easy to do but the neatest detail and what sold the pattern to me in the first place.   A photo shoot isn't complete without Lottie rushing in to be in the picture.
Once I finished this I ended up buying two more Deer and Doe patterns.  The styles are so well cut and seem to work for me with relatively straightforward alteration on the top half and non on the bottom.  They deliver quickly at low cost- no higher than ordering from UK.  Do be warned that the instructions are scant- I relied on my own knowledge and the ever helpful Readers Digest Guide to Sewing (the best dressmaking guide you can every buy).  I have the copy that got me through O lever dress at school and it is incredibly comprehensive. 
For those wanting to make Bleuet, these are the details of my changes. 
  • Traced size 36 top half/ 38 waist/38 hip/46 length.  The lines blend as you move from size to size a bit like dot to dot.
  • Made alterations over the bust and the back taking the seams in but not at the sides
  • The sleeves were a little tight under the arm so those seams were sew with 1/4" seam allowance which made for a good fit.
  • One layer of medium woven cotton interfacing rather than two for the collar, non for the cuffs- there are five layers of fabric there, it hardly needs more structure.  I do find pattern designers a little over obsessed by interfacing.
  • I used Prym pearl snaps bought from an ebay seller at a very reasonable price.  I have Prym pliers for these which from past experience I have found essential for successful snaps.  I used 16 snaps altogether.  
  • The hem facing and collar stand facing are made with a thrifted Liberty shirt ( I was squeezing this dress out of just 2 metres of 120cm fabric so creative cutting was needed).


The fabric I used is a steal at £10 a metre at Saints and Pinners at the moment as there is a 20% discount for all purchases over £10.  Fabric of this quality, organic as well, is hard to find for dressmaking.  It definitely needs pre washing as it will shrink and needs a colour catcher on its first wash and probably its second but the handle and texture is beautiful.  Its also available in blue  the blue in my dress photos captures the colour better) and pink (see Jo's Madeleine skirt in the pink/red here.  They would both be good fabrics for bag making too. 

No code is needed for the 20% discount at Saints and Pinners and there are other treats for dressmaking there such as this, this, this and this as well as the usual quilting cottons.
Yay for bank holiday weekend in UK even if it is a little cool its still holiday time.  I have had a couple of days of turmoil relating to the tricky events of December but now I have a week off and  a bit of time at home with the family and days at the beach.  Enjoy x
sib blog

30 comments:

  1. It really is lovely :)
    Thank you for detailing your fabric-saving changes and the link to that gorgeous material. I may have to investigate!

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  2. Oh Kerry it is just beautiful and the snaps are inspired! Lottie looks so obedient in all your photo's - like she's sitting waiting for a treat!!!!! Hope you have a fantastic few days relaxing and re-centering :) x

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  3. That bow at the back upgrades this from a great dress to an outstanding dress! Going to check out this pattern now, it looks fabulous on you x

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  4. It is such a beautiful dress Kerry! The style really suits you and it is so beautifully sewn down to the last detail. I love it!
    My Datura came today, I'm hoping to get some sewing done this weekend :)

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  5. Absoloutely beautiful!! It really suits you and it is the most perfect shape. The bow detail is super cute!

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  6. Kerry, thank you for taking the time to write such a lengthy post about your experienced with this pattern. I'm always nervous pattern shopping because very few see to work for my squat body size and my fuller bottom. It looks like the DEER&DOE range could be a winner for me, so I really appreciate it. The dress looks great on you, too!

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  7. I've been watching this come together on IG and have to say it turned out beautifully. I agree with you that a large part of comfort when wearing a dress, or any clothing, is the ease for movement and the way you described this-- sounds like there is enough of that.

    Love the bow detail; very cute and as most shirtwaists are kind of plain in the back, I agree that it adds a little bit of design where design is needed.

    Nice job!
    Elizabeth E.
    occasionalpiece on IG
    opquilt.com

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  8. Well done, such a lovely pattern and it looks amazing on you!

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  9. such a lovely dress - it suits you so perfectly!

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  10. This dress is just beautiful on you. I'm not sure I want to enter back into the work of apparel sewing just yet, but you sure do a lovely job of it!

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  11. FIT! Gorgeous dress and I love that you've stuck to the blue as only fitting for the name.

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  12. Thank you so much for sharing your Details for this beautiful and perfect Fitting Dress!

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  13. I like this dress a lot. It fits so well and suits your tiny waist

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  14. It looks great on you and love the bow on the back! When I was travelling after SS last year, Laura and I were playing dress-up when she handed me a shirt dress to try on, convinced it would work. I was convinced it wouldn't, and I was right, but I'm glad they look good on someone!

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  15. The fit and the color look super fabulous on you . Well done . You should make a couple of these dresses as this pattern really suits your figure and is very flattering .

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  16. The dress looks lovely Kerry and fits you so well. As you say, the bow elevates it to another level.

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  17. What a wonderful dress - it looks fabulous on you!

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  18. Oooooh.....Legs!

    Your dress turned out amazingly and definitive.
    Like it.

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  19. This dress is so beautiful and fits you so well!

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  20. I think this is my favourite clothing item if yours that I have seen - it is gorgeous and the bow is the perfect finishing touch.

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  21. Lovely, just like you ;-)
    My parents are in Framce this weekend and I'm hoping they will be bringing home my deer and doe pattern I ordered during the week....and I keep going back to that pink cross weave. I've been eyeing it up since you meantioned it months ago, but then I have a cupboard full of potential dress fabrics! Have a lovely week, you deserve it xx

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  22. This dress really suits you! And it looks so beautifully made. I think that fabric is the same stuff they have at organiccotton.biz, and they've got it in a bunch of other colours there. It's really nice, isn't it? Just the right weight.

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  23. It's so lovely, Kerry! Thanks for sharing all your alteration details, too - it's very helpful stuff.

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  24. Hello, I think you've done a wonderful job on this. The fitting is flawless! I hope you get lots of wear out of it! :)

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  25. You have done a great job, it is just a beautiful dress, perfetly made and really suit you!

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  26. you look lovely have a great bank holiday hx

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  27. Good to see you keeping your hand in Kerry! Joan

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  28. This is beautiful and has totally changed my perception of shirt dresses, I never liked theshape of them either but this is very feminine

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  29. It's such a lovely dress, it fits you really well and the bow at the back is just too cute!

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  30. What a sweet dress.. It's lovely and suits you well. I love the bow detail.. :-)

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